View Full Version : Picking places in LA for my characters to live

Sera Trevor
01-21-2014, 01:21 AM
My story is set in Los Angeles, present day; I'm trying to figure out the best places for my characters to live and work.

My first character is a young gay man, down on his luck. He works as a waiter in a seedy restaurant and makes very little money. He doesn't have a car and often gets off work late (or is for some reason out late at night). I need him to witness what looks like a body being thrown into a dumpster on his way home; he's the only witness.

My second character lives with someone who has inherited a lot of money. Neither of them work, but I need a neighborhood for them to live in.

Thanks in advance!

Debbie V
01-21-2014, 02:23 AM
Race can become a factor in neighborhood selection. There is online census data. Try reading the times online for a few weeks and you'll get some hints on neighborhoods too. Even following a route on Google maps might help. If you want a wealthy area, search for country clubs and look at the surrounding region. Look for pawn shops in poorer neighborhoods. (These are stereotypes meant to help get you started.)

Beverley Hills is classically wealthy. East LA, not so much. However, the city does have neighborhoods with some racial, cultural separations. There are Asians and Latinos. The area near the airport seemed poorer. Homeless lived under the freeways.

Someone who knows more will likely be by to help more.

01-21-2014, 02:34 AM
A young gay man would want to live as close to Hollywood as possible. Pasadena and its suburbs are pretty close, but a little less upscale. Hollywood or Glendale are good areas near that for a rich person to live. If he wanted to be south of Hollywood he'd be in Los Angeles proper or Wiltshire while the rich kid would be in Santa Monica.

Otherwise, if you wanted to be L.A. adjacent, the gay man could live in Riverside, with the richer person living in Clairemont or Rancho Cucamonga. Or they could both live in the Newport Beach area, which features both rich and poor areas.

Maze Runner
01-21-2014, 03:13 AM
Put the gay guy in Silver Lake, a neighborhood between Hollywood and downtown. Starting to, wanting to gentrify, but not there yet- it's fairly lower income and fairly high crime. There are a lot of clubs, bars, etc. in Silver Lake on Sunset where he could work.

Put the inherited guy in Los Feliz. It's a neighborhood between Hollywood and Glendale (Griffith Park) that's got a lot of new blood in old houses that have been carved into apartment bldgs, but also above Los Feliz Blvd are a lot of intact, large houses, probably some what you might call mansions, but older and with a lot of ambience.

West Hollywood is also an area with big gay population, but it might be a little pricey for your guy. As far as the inherited guy, there are just so many high priced areas around LA. Do you want them to live in close proximity to each other? Well, once you pick one neighborhood that should limit your choices for the other. Other pricey areas that are pretty close to Silver Lake or West Hollywood-- Hancock Park, Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Bel Aire, and if you want to take him out to the Valley you've got Sherman Oaks, Encino, Toluca Lake-- If you pick S. Oaks or Encino put him South of Ventura Blvd- a much pricier, hilly, a little woodsy area where a lot of stars live- Michael Jackson did, I believe.

Sera Trevor
01-21-2014, 07:12 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone! bookmaker, I've googled Silver Lake and Los Feliz, and they are absolutely perfect for what I want - thank you!

Maze Runner
01-21-2014, 08:36 PM
Hey, that's great! A lot of atmosphere in both.